Time-dependent spectral analysis of interactions within groups of walking pedestrians and vertical structural motion using wavelets

M. Bocian, J.M.W. brownjohn, V. Racic, D. Hester, A. Quattrone, L. Gilbert, R. Beasley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


A multi-scale and multi-object interaction phenomena can arise when a group of walking pedestrians crosses a structure capable of exhibiting dynamic response. This is because each pedestrian is an autonomous dynamic system capable of displaying intricate behaviour affected by social, psychological, biomechanical and environmental factors, including adaptations to the structural motion. Despite a wealth of mathematical models attempting to describe and simulate coupled crowd-structure system, their applicability can generally be considered uncertain. This can be assigned to a number of assumptions made in their development and the scarcity or unavailability of data suitable for their validation, in particular those associated with pedestrian-pedestrian and pedestrian-structure interaction. To alleviate this problem, data on behaviour of individual pedestrians within groups of six walkers with different spatial arrangements are gathered simultaneously with data on dynamic structural response of a footbridge, from a series of measurements utilising wireless motion monitors. Unlike in previous studies on coordination of pedestrian behaviour, the collected data can serve as a proxy for pedestrian vertical force, which is of critical importance from the point of view of structural stability. A bivariate analysis framework is proposed and applied to these data, encompassing wavelet transform, synchronisation measures based on Shannon entropy and circular statistics. A topological pedestrian map is contrived showing the strength and directionality of between-subjects interactions. It is found that the coordination in pedestrians’ vertical force depends on the spatial collocation within a group, but it is generally weak. The relationship between the bridge and pedestrian behaviour is also analysed, revealing stronger propensity for pedestrians to coordinate their force with the structural motion rather than with each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-523
Number of pages22
JournalMechanical Systems and Signal Processing
Early online date27 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2018


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